Health Education England has announced that a record 4,032 GP trainees have accepted placements to join the profession.
The new recruits will begin specialist general practice training by February and include both foundation-year doctors as well as locally-employed or trust-grade doctors and consultants wanting to retrain as a GP.
HEE announced today that it has hit the Government’s target for GP specialty trainee recruitment for the fifth year running – with 4,032 trainees accepting placements against a target of 4,000.
Last year, 4,001 GP trainees were recruited against the same target, up from 3,793 in 2020 against a 3,500 target.
HEE primary and integrated care medical director Professor Simon Gregory said: ‘I am delighted that so many doctors have accepted their offer on GP specialty training programmes across England.
‘There is no denying that it is a difficult time for the profession, with GPs under growing pressure as demand increases – but it is heartening that thousands of doctors are continuing to see general practice as a rewarding and valuable career.’
He added: ‘We have consistently met or exceeded annual GP training targets and initiatives like the national Choose GP campaign demonstrate our ongoing commitment to helping to provide a sustainable workforce.’
HEE director of education and quality and national medical director Professor Wendy Reid said it is ‘fantastic news’ because it ‘has never been more important to promote careers in primary care’.
And health secretary Steve Barclay added that the ‘pipeline of talent’ will strengthen the ‘growing primary care workforce’ and help patients ‘get appointments and access the right service at the right time’.
He said: ‘GPs make a real difference to communities and I am delighted that once again we have hit our recruitment target and more medical students are choosing a career as a GP.
‘I am hugely appreciative to GPs and their teams for all the hard work they do every day in caring for us and our loved ones.’
The latest NHS Digital GP workforce figures showed there were 9,628 GPs in training grade in GP placements across England as of September.
And a newspaper recently claimed that the new Prime Minister has omitted the target of recruiting 6,000 more GPs from his brief for the health secretary.
Meanwhile, the Government said in September that there was ‘no room for flexibility this year’ to increase medical school places and that it was doing ‘lots of things’ to address the problems in general practice.
HEE previously paid GP practices in Cumbria £10,000 to take on new trainees, amid a shortage of available training posts.